Mindanao fishermen seek protection as China ships spotted off region


- Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN File image

MANILA: Mindanao fisherfolk expressed fear that they “will be the next to suffer from crossing the sea or catching fish resources from our waters” following the reported sighting of Chinese ships off the region.

The Kilusang Artisanong Mangingisda sa Pilipinas (Kakampi) said the government and national forces should protect them.

“It’s just so unfair that while Chinese warships freely navigate the waters in Mindanao, we are thrown out in our waters in West Philippines Sea,” Kakampi chief Roberto Ballon said in a statement Saturday (June 22).

The group’s sentiments came amid increasing tension between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.

“We are worried that our fishermen will be the next to suffer from crossing the sea or catching fish resources from our waters,” Ballon added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) earlier said Chinese Navy warships were spotted in the Basilan Strait on June 6, prompting Philippine Navy personnel to issue a radio challenge.

The AFP, however, also described the Chinese ships’ movement relative to its course as “innocent passage.”

The AFP said Basilan Strait is recognized as an international sea-lane, hence, passage of vessels from various countries is allowed. - The Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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Philippines , Mindanao , fishermen , protection , China , ships , spotted

   

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